Skip to main content

Full text of "A history of Persia"

See other formats


32                  HISTORY OF PERSIA
The Expansion of Mam to the Hrcst^ A.IK 25- 3 i (646-
6 p).__The limits of Moslem expansion had not yet been
reached, and under Abu Sarh, a foster-brother of Othman,
the Arabs pushed west of Barca and even threatened
Carthage, whose Governor was defeated in a hard-fought
battle. This period, too, saw the launching of the first
Moslem fleet, in A.H. 28 (649). Its initial enterprise
resulted in the capture of Cyprus, and three years later it
won a naval victory off Alexandria, under the command
of Abu Sarh.
The Campaigns in Persia^ A.H. 31 (65^2). The death
of Omar had been the signal in Persia for a widespread
but badly organized insurrection, and the Moslem leaders ,
sought not only to reconquer what had been lost but to '
extend the sway of Islam eastwards. Ibn Aamir, the
Governor of Basra, who was entrusted with the conduct |
of the campaign, first reduced the province of I Airs, and
then marched across the Lut and invaded the province of
Kuhistan, of which he obtained possession. After these
successes he sent a summons to submit to the Governor
of Herat, who craftily replied that he would do so when
Nishapur was taken. Ibn Aamir proceeded to invest
Nishapur, while at the same time devastating the neigh-
bouring valley [of Tus. His troops suffered severely
from the cold but he reduced the city by blockade, and its
Governor paid a sum of 700,000 dinars, together with
many articles of value. Thereupon the Governors of -
Herat and of Merv both made terms. It was in this
same year that,' as already mentioned, Yezdigird was
murdered, and his death must have been a great relief to
the Caliph. Ibn Aamir, pressing constantly eastwards, won
a great victory on the Oxus, which led to the submission
of Balkh and other outlying provinces of the Persian
Empire. His generals crossed the Hindu Kush> subdued
Kabul, and conquered the Sistan and Kerman provinces.
The advance, however, was, not unchequered by reverse,
for the Arabs were defeated by the Khazars in Azerbaijan,
and an entire army perished in the snows of Kerman.1
1 I would locate the scene of this dimter m Sardti, as the Arab* occupied Jlrttft,
Fide Yule's Marco Polo (Cordier'g edition), vol. i. p, 313.